[education]

Education is Important.

Today CNN was showing a program about salaries of university presidents in the USA. The highest earning President is getting nearly a million Dollars a year. Others in the top ten list, are also making nearly four hundred thousand Dollars a year. Yest erday in the local newspaper, there was an interesting news item. It said that President of our University is making more money than the Governor of our state. The annual salary of the President of our university is more than two hundred thousand Dollars while Governor of the same state (Washington) has a salary of only one hundred and twenty thousand Dollars. Keep in mind that University of Washington is not a private university, but a sate owned university. So all the decisions about salary of it employ ees are made by the state legislative and yesterday they showed their appreciation for the President of the University by giving him a salary raise.

President of the University here is just like our Vice Chancellor of the University. But the difference is in more liberty he enjoys and more responsibility he has in managing the university. We could compare them with CEO (Chief Executive Office rs) of other commercial organizations as they are hired very competitively because if they are successful in managing the university then it would be an attractive place for the bright and intelligent students to come and it will attract the good faculty , and eventually there will be more money for the university from different grants. University faculty is very important for the repute of a good university. If a university is not successful in recruiting and then keeping the best faculty, it will loose its reputation as a center of excellence quickly. So universities apart from giving good salaries also give many perks to bring the best persons in their field as teachers. Education is high in the priority list. President Clinton is discussing about ways to improve education standards nearly every week.

In our country education is not even in the priority list. We have big projects like Motorway (I am absolutely not against it) and we have desire to have a strong industrial base and we are trying best to lure international investors to our land. We fo rget one thing that if we donít have an educated and skilled manpower, no matter how big are our roads e and how grandeur our Parliament and Presidentís house buildings are we will remain a poor nation. Our literacy rate is falling (instead of increasing ). Our education standards are deteriorating so fast that more and more foreign universities are refusing to accept our degrees and diplomas and we still think that we are a TIGER NATION of Asia.

How many times our leaders and ministers have took the initiative to improve our education standards. They donít have time. They have other important things to do. They want their supporters to get Govt. jobs without merit. They want their and cronies í appetite satisfied. And people like Nawaz Shariff who really want to improve the status of our nation are lured into useless, futile and dangerous battles with judiciary by these selfish and incompetent advisers. No one has time or interest for the Edu cation. They are forgetting that this nation cannot do a thing before it has a good educational system.

No one in Pakistan wants to become a teacher now. With filmy and TV scenes where a teacher is humiliated quite commonly by feudal landlords, which may be representing a true situation in Pakistan, but has also sink any morale left in the teaching profe ssion.

With pathetically low salaries, how come the bright and best can come to this profession. Everyone of us is well aware of the salaries our teachers get and as we are failing miserably to attract motivated, educational staff there is no way we could imp rove the standards of our children education without first taking basic corrective measures. A good teacher can make a difference but who needs a good teacher. Not our leaders, who send their children abroad not to have high-level, graduate education but even for undergraduate degrees. Our former Prime Minister admitted her children to a foreign school, who are still in grade two or three. None of our leaders want their children education here if they are even a little bit smarter but if they are really d umb then they could study here and pass their exams with flying colors, courtesy of their parents.

Our education system is deteriorating so fast that if we ignored it little more now then we would be ignored by the rest of the World. So dear political leaders if you really want to reign a country, which is not like a Sub-Saharan African country, ple ase give a little consideration to our education system too. And no education system could survive without an intelligent, scholarly, and motivated faculty with high morale.


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Dr. Rana Jawad Asghar
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